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Archive for the ‘Associations’ Category

Rankin Testifies at the House

May 30th, 2017 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Associations, DOT/UN, Industry News, Skolnik Newsletter

On April 26th, 2017, the US House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials held a subcommittee hearing (Chairman Jeff Denham, R-Calif.) on “Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America.” Addressing the State of Railroad, Pipeline, and Hazardous Materials Safety Regulations and Opportunities for Reform, Paul Rankin, COSTHA member and President of the Reusable Industrial Packaging Association represented the IP Group. The IP Group is an informal coalition of 45+ associations that meet on a regular basis in Washington DC.

Members of the Interested Parties strongly support a robust and efficient hazardous materials transportation regulatory program. Industry recognizes the benefits of a centralized regulatory agency within the Department of Transportation (DOT) that has cross-modal and international authorities. Safety is of paramount importance to industry and the exemplary record in this area, and support for effective regulation, underscore this goal. In his testimony to the Subcommittee, Paul addresses: the Importance of Reasonable Federal Regulation in the Field of Hazardous Materials Transportation, Preemption, Programmatic Authority, Special Permits and Approvals, International Affairs, Enforcement, PHMSA Office of Planning and Analytics, Incident Reporting, and General Regulatory Reform.

To view the video of the hearing –

Video

Paul Rankin begins his testimony at 28:45.

To read Paul’s testimony –
Testimony

Schoonover Speaks to the PHMSA Future at COSTHA

May 23rd, 2017 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Associations, DOT/UN, HazMat, Industry News, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

May 2nd, 2017 in Scottsdale, AZ – At the annual meeting of the Council on the Safe Transport of Hazardous Articles (COSTHA), William (Bill) Schoonover, Associate Administrator for Hazardous Material Safety at the US DOT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) presented the Vision and Mission of PHMSA. Their Vision is to be the most innovative transportation safety organization in the world, and their Mission is to protect people and the environment by advancing the safe transportation of energy and other hazardous materials that are essential in our daily lives.

PHMSA will achieve these goals by investing in people, increasing communication internally and externally, positioning for innovation, fostering transparency and improving engagement. This will be achieved by implementing a safety management system that is data driven from information gathered from the 45,000 companies overseen by DOT. This information, and implementation, will include electronic shipping papers, new hazmatics which will improve how data is collected, and the beginning of regulation and data collection of autonomous vehicles. In addition, PHMSA will be the first government agency to have an ISO 9000 certified data collection system.

In addition to Mr. Schoonover, Ryan Pacquet, Director of Approvals and Permits; Shane Kelley, Assistant International Standards Coordinator; and Lindsey Constantino, International Transportation Specialist, also addressed the COSTHA members on the PHMSA strategies for the near future.

Downstream Liability: Myths versus Reality

February 21st, 2017 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Associations, HazMat, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

Some persons in corporate management believe that outsourcing the corporate transportation function will help to insulate the company from liability in the event of a motor carrier accident or a hazardous materials incident. This is not necessarily true — outsourcing to third parties does not necessarily eliminate or mitigate this risk. Outsourcing transportation to a for-hire motor carrier (or an intermediary such as a broker or freight forwarder) does change the target of due diligence from private fleet drivers to the third party transportation provider, but it does not eliminate the shipper’s responsibility for investigating the person or company that will be transporting their goods, performing their pre- and post-transportation functions adequately, or even supervising their carrier’s performance. But the aggressive exercise of management over carrier practices could also provide evidence that the shipper is responsible for the carrier’s negligent acts or omissions. Ultimately, shippers must balance the need to control their transportation service and the acceptance of a certain degree of liability for injuries caused by transportation operations.

To further investigate these liabilities, Richard (Rick) Schweitzer, General Counsel to the Council on the Safe Transportation of Hazardous Articles (COSTHA), and General Counsel to Skolnik Industries, has prepared a paper entitled Downstream Liability: Myths Versus Reality. This paper deals with civil liability for incidents or collisions that cause personal injuries or death and that occur in the stream of commercial motor vehicle transportation. View the entire paper here.

What to do when the DOT knocks at your door!

September 27th, 2016 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Associations, DOT/UN, HazMat, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

For the 11th year, Labelmaster has sponsored the Dangerous Goods Symposium (DGS), a global collective of hazmat professionals from just about all 7 continents. The Symposium occurred last week at the Loews Hotel in downtown Chicago with nearly 300 participants and speakers. Among one of the most attended presentations was that of Ryan Paquet, Associate Deputy Administrator at PHMSA, and Bob Richard of Labelmaster, entitled “How to Prepare for a DOT Inspection: Before, During, After.” Both Paquet and Richard explained the mission of the DOT, the basis for the inspection, and what questions might occur during an inspection. Most importantly, both Paquet and Richard emphasized the need to be cooperative and honest.
Paquet stated that the Mission of PHMSA is, “To protect people and the environment by advancing the safe transportation of energy and other hazardous materials that are essential to our daily lives.”
Richard went on to explain that typical questions that could be asked by an inspector might include:

  1. Is there a corporate hazmat training program?
  2. Are training records maintained?
  3. Who verifies the classification of hazmat products?
  4. Are you registered to transport hazmat?
  5. Do you have a hazmat security plan per CFR 172.800?
  6. Who signs shipping papers?
  7. Do you ship placarded loads?
  8. Is there any packing/repacking of hazmat done at this facility.

In addition, both emphasized the need to follow the a packaging manufacturers specific Closure Instructions for all packagings tested and marked in accordance with DOT/UN certification.

Click here to view the Skolnik Closure Instructions, including video tutorials.